Four Realistic New Year's Resolutions You Should Make This Year

The year 2015 is almost upon us - a phrase that will make me feel incredibly old when I look back on this post in a few years' time - and that means it's time to make the traditional and dreaded New Year's Resolution. Every year, we make vague, nebulous promises to better ourselves, and since we're all shitty in the exact same ways, I can already predict what your New Year's resolutions are going to be. Unless you're the sort of person who starts every morning by snorting a line of protein powder off a barbell, you're going to resolve to lose the small-child-sized lump of blubber you've been carrying around on your stomach, and finally get in shape. If you don't get to work each morning by sliding down a novelty firepole to your desk at a funky tech startup, you're probably going to resolve to spend less time with your face buried in your phone. Every single one of us is a procrastinating shithead, so we're going to resolve to finish the project/masterpiece/Great American Novel we've been working on. And you know what?

It has to stop.

Cut this shit out.

Resolutions are such flimsy promises that it's socially acceptable to pledge yourself to a life of vegan dieting, yoga and sobriety on January 1st, and then spend January 2nd passed out in front of Netflix with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and the sad remains of an entire cheesecake squished into the other. No more. This year, let's make some more interesting resolutions. Creative resolutions. Resolutions we can actually keep. Resolutions like:

1. Don't Get Murdered

It's best to start with something simple. Unless my blog is mandatory reading in Hell, chances are, most of you have done a pretty good job of this for however many years you've been on this planet. Good job, you.


With that being said, out of every 100,000 people who visit this website, 1.5 Canadians and 4.8 Americans will find themselves involuntarily shuffled off this mortal coil in the year 2015. So this year, pledge to family and friends that you'll be among the lucky 99,995+ who get to go on and die of a plain old car accident or cancer at a later date. 

Or if you're feeling really creative, trampled to death by cow.

Now, obviously, no one heads into a new year with a plan to get murdered, but there are a few easy steps you can take to avoid ending up as a John or Jane Doe by next December 31st. For one, stop inviting known serial killers to your house for sleepovers. Stay out of Louisiana, if you can. Consider moving to rural Iowa. Don't take out hefty life insurance policies on yourself, made out to people who hate you. Perhaps rethink your decision to start a career selling crystal meth on street corners in known gang territory. Stay out of strangers' vans, no matter how many lollipops, strippers and puppies they claim to have. 

Definitely avoid Larry's stabbing parties from now on.

This is a good resolution to start off with, because it's notoriously difficult to achieve much of anything once you're a disemboweled corpse in the woods. Its relative lack of difficulty also makes it ideal to boost confidence; if you can avoid getting bludgeoned to death by a raving maniac wielding a soup ladle, there's no telling what else you can accomplish. Best of all, this is a goal you can achieve without ever leaving the comfort of your solitary basement. In fact, for best results, you should probably stay down there and lock the door. 

2. Eat an Entire Pizza by Yourself

And when I say an entire pizza, I don't mean one of those dinky individual pizzas that was designed to be a reasonable, satisfying serving for one person. Oh, no. Ideally, this pizza should comfortably feed a family of four. Maybe even an entire party. For best results, find a restaurant that cooks its pies in a cremation oven and order up your entire body weight in pizza.

That's the spirit.

Once you've got a pizza that's unquestionably too much for one person, take it home to your kitchen. This shit is not fit to be seen in public. Now, you could eat it the table with a plate and fork and knife, like a civilized human being, but in the spirit of the resolution, you should cram that fucker into your face while you lean over the kitchen sink like an animal. Don't bother with blotting the grease off, either; just let it run down your face until you can't tell where your tears stop and the molten pizza juice begins. Put on some music that made you sad in 2006; Linkin Park or Evanscence should do nicely. Don't stop until the pizza is finished, no matter what disastrous medical consequences may arise before that time. 

When it's over, stare forlornly into the wreckage of the pizza box and contemplate the fact that although you've never been fuller, you've never felt so empty. 

You, at that moment.

As much as I enjoy the thought of directing total strangers to needlessly put themselves in substantial gastric distress, there's a method to my madness. All around you, friends and family will be striving to be better people; for the first two weeks of January, they'll be living a healthy, ideal lifestyle that they can't possibly live up to for the rest of the year. Fuck that. Instead of crafting a hopelessly far-fetched Übermensch for you to look back on with regret and self-hatred from mid-January to next December, this year, shake things up by creating a new low point for you to mock as you inevitably spend the year being less pathetic than that guy. 

Rock bottom: now with fresh lemon scent.

No matter how badly you fuck up in the year 2015, you'll be able to confidently state, "Well, at least this still isn't as bad as that time I ate a pizza the size of Somalia while sobbing over a filthy sink. Thanks, Janel Comeau." And to you I say, you're welcome, you sniveling blob of pizza sauce and regrets. You're welcome. Thanks to this resolution, you'll be able to look on the bright side of every shitty, disheartening thing that awaits you in the coming 12 months, and that makes it a resolution worth keeping.

3. Run a Relationship Into the Ground

Don't get me wrong, here. Relationships can be a good thing. You do and say nice things for the other person, they do and say nice things for you, and then you spend as much time together as you can while you race to see whether resentment or complacency sets in first.

Just look how happy they are!

If you're really good at relationships, you know how to make just the right amount of compromises and communicate your needs with your partner effectively enough to make sure you two have a genuine, lasting connection based on trust that grows with every passing year. You take on life's challenges together, and you both make the small sacrifices needed to keep the other happy without complaint. If the relationship does reach an obvious endpoint, you handle it maturely; you calmly explain to your partner that perhaps the two of you want different things out of life, and it would be kinder on both of you to go your separate ways. Then you wish each other well and part amicably, keeping in touch with polite, biannual email updates about the health of your children and houseplants for the rest of your natural lives. 

And that's boring as fuck.

I've got a much better idea.

The truth is, all those healthy relationships and good interpersonal habits aren't doing you any favors. Are you an aspiring artist of some kind - a writer, painter, musician, etc? Are you looking to justify your alarming new whiskey-and-absinthe-for-breakfast habit? Worried that you aren't quite as emotionally damaged as the rest of us? Accumulate valuable bitterness and angst this year by running your relationship right into the fucking ground. Turn petty disagreements into full-fledged screaming matches. Air your complaints loudly and repeatedly, and preferably in public. Stand him up. Wear her underwear. Neglect your personal hygiene until you can harvest fungus out of your bellybutton. Call her mother a bitch. Hit on his dad. Leave the room to take frequent phone calls from your ex and rub up against strangers on the subway until you come home smelling like the wrong perfume/cologne. Rearrange her possessions when she's not looking and blame it on ghosts. Subtly move all the furniture by just a few inches and tell him he's got early-onset Alzheimer's every time he bangs his shins on the coffee table. In general, just act like a childish, unforgiving, self-centered cockwad until you're both trapped in a co-dependent downward spiral that ends with someone's clothes on fire on the lawn.

Breaking up, done right.

Not currently in a romantic relationship that you can launch into a proverbial volcano? No fucking problem! On good terms with your siblings? Send them curt, passive-aggressive Facebook messages until you're certain that your parents' estate will have to be settled with a knife fight. Enjoying a pleasant, neighborly connection with the guy next door? Piss in his flowerbeds until he crashes his sedan into your living room. Got a good thing going with the family dog? Tease it with treats it never receives until it gnaws your foot clean off while you sleep. 

The best part of this resolution is that since most of us are selfish, tactless assholes most of the time, it's pretty much guaranteed that you were going to achieve this at some point anyway. By making it one of your resolutions, when it inevitably happens, you can swear into your pail of hatred-flavored ice cream that you did it on purpose to meet this goal. Indulge in all the petty, self-indulgent bullshit we all secretly enjoy, and then ride the emotional fallout all the way to a platinum-selling album/New York Times Bestseller list/court-ordered anger management class.

4. Derail Your Entire Life By Doing That Stupid Thing You've Always Wanted to Do

If you're even remotely responsible and functional as a human being (which I assume most of you are, since you probably arrived at this post by Googling 'Realistic New Year's Resolution'), you probably have some sort of plan for your life. You've got a direction in life, you've carefully weighed the pros and cons, and you've made several backup plans based on a practical analysis of your chances for success. You don't make too many rash decisions, your parents can look you in the eye, and you almost definitely haven't burned down the local post office.

Frankly, I think you could do better.

If your desk looks something like this, I am immensely disappointed in you.

No matter how young and devastatingly attractive you are now, if you manage to keep your 'Not Getting Murdered This Year' resolution a few times in a row, you're eventually going to be the paunchy, middle-aged nightmare you made fun of all through your 20s. And when that happens, if you want people to be interested in you and your ass you can no longer bounce loose change off of, you're going to have to have something interesting to say.

I don't even know this dude, but I want to hang out with him.

You tell me who's more interesting - the dude who went right into a stable, sensible, low-risk career and has a few funny anecdotes about the time his phone autocorrected the word 'penis' into an email he sent his boss? Or the dude who flipped his hometown the middle finger, ran off to Bangladesh for no discernible reason, came back, wrote a novel, started an emu farm, became a skydiving instructor, and then took a sane job? Everyone has at least one stupid, reckless thing they would do if they weren't afraid of the consequences. This year, do that thing. I'm serious. Will you probably crash and burn like a big, metaphorical Hindenburg? You betcha. Should you do it anyway? Absolutely. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow; anyone as oblivious to oncoming traffic as you should definitely take the opportunity to open that emu farm while they can.

For only a few hundred dollars and a functioning internet connection, this deadly, man-killing bird can be all yours.

We live in a place and time where starvation is virtually impossible, pensions are a hazy, mythical construct from our parents' generation, and the economy has been so thoroughly and enthusiastically screwed that we're all going to have to work until we die anyway. So fuck it. Do the thing. Adopt a monkey. Run away to Denver, for whatever fucking reason. Quit your job and eat ramen while you record an album. Get a job taming circus bears. Date someone who wears jeggings and bubble wrap in public. Be someone who wears jeggings and bubble wrap in public. Remove your own appendix on your dining room table. Bury a human body in the woods. Burn down the post office. 

Maybe don't do that.

It'll probably be dumb and ill-advised and naive and you might contract a new STD previously unknown to science. But at least you'll know what it was like to do that thing; you won't have to mope around the house at age 65, thinking 'what if I had just quit my job to pursue that job in bondage pornography like I always wanted?' You'll know, and you'll have the anal abrasions to prove it. And really, isn't that what life is all about?

What dumb thing are you going to do this year? And what other resolutions have you made? Leave it in the comments. 

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